Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Chicken parmigiana (known as chick-parm in our family) for supper...

...and chocolate cake for dessert!

You're 19!  
(have fun in Colorado...but please be careful snowboarding.  love, mom.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ashes to Ashes

Alex and I drove to Huntington Beach for an appointment with the orthopedist and got great news...lots of swelling but no damage.

He can be back on the court this week...playing at only 50% and slowly working his way back up.

All is well.

OH...and this is the view from the office of the pet cemetary below.  At first look it is really pretty and then the more you stare and think about it, the creepier it gets.  Makes you wonder about the Carl's Jr that is right next door...

Last night,  Ash Wednesday,  we were ashed...and Lent is here.  This is my favorite time of year...a time to repent and remember, followed by my favorite holiday.  


No traveling required.  No gifts to buy.  Just Jesus.  And springtime.  And chocolate.

After church last night we stopped for these times with my boys.  In church, we sat in front of a family with beautiful young boys and I found myself leaning over to M and telling him that time is going so fast...something I couldn't stand when people said to me.

But it's true.
Supper tonight will be an Italian pork roast, plus I need to bake a cake.  Today is a heavy volunteer day for me...Meals on Wheels, Brian's school and then I am the lunchtime bingo caller at the senior center.  Crazy, but fun.  They are usually so happy to sit and play...they come to Bingo following line dancing and are all tuckered out.

Love that.


Monday, February 23, 2009


Just can't win today.


Can't win.

SO...we are going out for ice cream.

Here's hoping at least some of us smile after that.


OH...and this my friends, is what it is all about.  Nothing like cousins and the Academy Awards and pizza and vino rosso and did I mention cousins?


Saturday, February 21, 2009


After an awful dream filled night...most likely the result of late night nacho's and The Millionaire Matchmaker show, I am moving rather slow today.

But that's OK.  I've got one big guy asleep on the family room couch and a medium sized guy conked out on my bed.

Brian had practice from 9 to 11 this morning, so after dropping him off I worked in my muddy garden.  So many weeds, so little time.  And lots and lots of baby broccoli's.
That guy that I like so much picked up the youngest shrub and together they cruised around in the dead of winter with the top down.

And stopped at Claro's for salami and other goodies.
While I chatted with neighbors, lunch was made and waiting for me when I came in.  I married well.

As for the rest of the weekend?


Which means, stop by if you are bored!


Friday, February 20, 2009


Never a dull moment around here.

Found out the boys varsity team won their wild card CIF game and lo and behold, they need a snack bar set up for tonight.

And to think I thought my days with cans of nacho cheese sauce were over and done with.

Not so.  Not so.

I met my girlfriend at Sam's Club and now my car is loaded to the gills with junk food galore.  I seriously thought of sleeping out there last night because it smells sooooo good.

Like chocolate.


I came home and did the 'hmmmm...gotta make supper.  Gotta make supper' mantra.

Homemade blueberry muffins for the boy with a mohawk.  Oh wait, all 3 of my boys currently have mohawks.  Shhh...don't tell the grandparents.  Though boy #2 and I are going to go to the courthouse to see if we can get the jay-walking ticket either reduced or dismissed (heard that was a possibility, and $164 is ALOT of money) and he cannot have a mohawk when we do that.  So his is going bye-bye early next week.

And to go with the blueberry muffins...a frtittata with left-over roast chicken, goat cheese and asparagus, with fried rosemary potatoes on the side.

Fast.  Easy.  Cheap.

Oh, and yummy, too.
And for your viewing pleasure...Miss Molly.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Recipe

A jug of fresh berries all smooshed together... a bottle of vodka and a couple of orange peels.  Store in a cool place for a month or two, strain into a cute bottle and then put it in the freezer.
Drink it ice cold, followed by a pickle.


And why a pickle?  NO CLUE, 'cept we had vodka shots followed by pickles in a scary bar in Slovakia.  And for some reason it tasted really good in an odd sort of funky way and now we need to do it that way everytime.


And to that guy that I like so are missed.  I especially miss seeing you drive down the street, top down, with BNL's blaring on your stereo.

I am ready for long, late suppers in the backyard...with candles and a heat lamp and groovy tunes playing in the background.  I miss you.  The children miss you.

But thanks for working so hard for us AND for coming home late AND making berry vodka.  

Come home soon.



Long days at school call for a serious snack...popcorn and grape juice.

I hadn't had grape juice since 1989 (and yes I remember the year oh so clearly) when I was preggo with the boy who shall soon enter his last year as a teen.

Grape juice sounded good, especially after a 4 day stint in the hospital for dehydration.  And it was good.  The first time.


The baby of the family didn't have any knowledge of that and when he asked what grapejuice was, I knew we had to try it.  And it was yummy.
A project is in the works and as soon as I figure out what I am doing, I will let you know.

But it's ready for paint, nonetheless.

Fresh sheets on the one cool cat.  Last night the 2 sissy's cuddled on the same chair...they haven't liked each much since becoming non-girls.  Baby steps, baby steps.
A rather lonely xbox 360, sitting on the piano waiting for it's master to turn in the algebra packet he decided to blow off.

Once I get email confirmation, it won't be so lonely no more.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hot Breakfast

Sometimes, a morning started with a hot griddle is the best kind of morning.

At least if you are under 11.

Or even if you are over 11.


Ginormous chocolate chip pancakes.

We are WET.  Really, really wet.  And somehow down to only 2 umbrellas, which is our equivalent of a snow shovel in the midwest...meaning we can't live without 'em.

So off to Target I will go.


The grass is SO green and the trees in the neighborhood are filled with teeny-tiny leaves...spring is springing up around us!
Yesterday was a quiet day...the house got cleaned (all except for clean sheets, which I will do when I am done here) and I spent the day making jewelry.  After school was the Beavers second to last game before play-offs and as of yet have not a single win.  Sad...but my #8 is so cute!
Immediately after their game, M and the boys went to Concordia for their basketball game, so the girlie was once again left in a quiet house.


Today I am off to see a movie with a girlfriend...and tonight should have a full house.

Which I like.


Monday, February 16, 2009


The rains keep coming and coming...and I am not complaining.  Not one little bit.

Fot the first time in a long while, it feels like winter in SoCal...and cold rainy weather makes me long for Spring.  And Spring is appreciated a whole lot more after you've had a few weeks of cold toes, so I am enjoying the rain.


My garden is wet and my broccoli and cauliflower are thrilled...I cannot wait to make cauliflower curry and broccoli soup.  Soon...very, very soon.


This morning in the rain, Alex and I went to the orthopedist to hear the fate of that pesky knee.  Good news...a simple sprain of his MCL, so he's in a brace and physical therapy.  Better news...the MRI showed no link to the past knee injury, so he'll be up and playing in a few short weeks.  

God is good.

Brian went to play at a friends house, Alex went to play at a friends house and for most of the day I was home alone.  And it was quiet.  Too quiet, actually.  I had a few jewelry orders to fill, which btw...who would've thunk (and yes, I KNOW thunk is not a REAL word) that this little jewelry business would've worked?  Not me.  I am assuming it will slow way down now, though I just donated 6 pendants to 6 different silent auctions.  


Supper tonight was C.O.R.N.  Also known as Clean Out Refrigerator Night.  One had pasta and sausage, one had chicken pot pie, one had stroganoff AND pasta AND chicken pot pie (any guesses on which boy that was?) and I had a salad with my neighbors homegrown lettuce, which I am sooo addicted to.  It was especially yummy with homemade thousand island dressing that Tom made while he was here.  Yum.

M is working tonight and is getting weary from the 7 day work weeks.  Summer is coming, summer is coming.

Tonight, once he gets home late, we'll watch the Bachelor together...I made a super, super, super yummy brownie pudding from Ina for dessert.  It only called for 2 sticks of butter, which for Ina is low-cal.  Can't wait.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Date Night

Last night, after a lonnnnng day of auditions, that guy that I like so much picked me up in his really cute car.

Cuz we had tickets.  FREE tickets, actually.

In my book, those are the best kind of tickets to have.


We started at Maggiano's and sat under a picture of Norm himself, while drinking red wine and eating lobster fettucine.


Oh yeah, dinner was free too...thanks to a bunch of gift cards with remnants on them.  Works for me!

We walked across the parking lot (and across the street, through a business complex and a rather damp field) to the Samueli Theater.

Charming.  Actually beyond charming.  Lots of little tables, candlelight and cocktails.

Can't find anything wrong with that, can ya?

And new to us....Matt Dusk.  A 30 year old crooner with a rockin' combo behind him.

This morning, M was out the door by 6am...turns out the choir was on the road yet again on a Sunday morning.  The younger boys and I, of course, followed quite a few hours later to hear them sing.

After, another new to us place...PJ's Abbey, an old church turned restaurant.  Awesome.  Beyond awesome.
Their huevos rancheros were so amazing, that not much was said by the guy who ordered them.  For me...a california omelette full of avocado.  Oh MY.  With champagne and the best blueberry muffins ever...well, it was worth every bite.  Brian had an omelette the size of his head and Alex ate enough for a whole table.  YUM.

Drove home via downtown Orange, threatening crazy boys with a trip to the antique shops if they didn't calm down and saw the old Bank of Italy/masonic lodge.  Don't ask me why the picture is green...I am pretty sure the sky was a normal blue when I took it.  But then again, you never know.

You can give a girlie a fancy camera, but you can't make her read the instruction booklet.  


It's now time for a sunday afternoon movie and nap...nothing beats a sunday afternoon nap.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Val's Day

I am sitting here relieved that I found the concert tickets for tonight.

That guy that I like so much is sooo excited about this evening and I had to give him a heads up that somehow, sometime, somewhere...I couldn't find the tickets.

But then I remembered that I had given them to him for safe keeping...and there they were, tucked in his drawer with all his important guy stuff, like his gym locker combination and his cigar from some foreign country.

So tonight we have a big date...just me and that guy that I like so much.  Our youngest two will be home enjoying either Del Taco or Chik Fil-A...whichever one sounds better to them at 4:45pm when their daddy picks it up for them on his way home from work.

Cuz yes, in the joys of college life, today is an all day long scholarship audition fest in which bright young college bound hopefuls belt out their rendition of Silent Night and America the Beautiful.

And my Simon sits and chews on his pen.


After, we'll head to Maggiano's and to a concert.


I am not a valentines day-ish kind of girl...but I am looking forward to tonight.  Especially now that I found the tickets.


My mom and Tom were here for a had been a year and a half since we had seen them, so it was long overdo!  They came to see Alex play, which didn't happen, but they did get to see their eldest grandsons and play a bit in the SoCal sunshine.

For the locals...we went to Orange and walked my favorite antique places and yesterday walked Balboa Island and took the ferry, which they really liked.

Tom put a bunch of my house back together, which was awfully nice and my mom discovered TJ Maxx HomeGoods.  Not sure she'll ever be the same again.


Alex is doing well.  He's up.  He's walking.  The xray showed stuff, but it was probably previous injuries and the MRI will be on Monday morning.  He is in great spirits...they ended their season 27-1, with the only loss being against a sophomore team during some summer tourney.  

We have an awesome orthopedist and an even more awesome physical therapist...and a few weeks off before spring league begins.

All is well.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Boy.

Not good...

NOT good...
The good news...while it is the same knee as before, this time he can put weight on it.  

The other good news...the trainer who worked on him immediately after does NOT think it is his meniscus or ACL or MCL (like last time) and that pesky kneecap (which was broken last time, as well as dislocated) is straight on.  

The even more good news...the season is over.  And not because of a knee.  One more non-league game on Friday and he wouldn't have played much anyway, since all the 1st stringers warm the bench during non-league games.

The not so good was scary.  He went down and didn't get up.  I don't like that.  Not one bit.

The coach told him to 'get it all in order' cuz they need him on JV next year.

That's good news.


Beavers New Coach

After a rough beginning...the Beavers have a new coach.

And they only lost by 1...which is a HUGE improvement!

The Beavers looked a lot less Bad News Bears-ish and a little more like an actual basketball fun!

Brian rocked the boards and scored a couple of's amazing what a pep talk from your big brother, I mean coach, can do!  


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday Break

The land of sunshine has had the most incredible cloudy skies lately...the kind where you don't mind getting stuck at every red light while driving.

In hope you do.


After seeing The Pink Panther (funny...especially the beginning and the end.  Not sure about the middle cuz I took a little snooze!) and shopping for jeans, (praise God for Levi's 28X 35's for the tall skinny mutant in our family) the boys and I went to Strike for dinner and bowling.
But we didn't go alone!  We met up with friends to celebrate a big birthday for Katharine.  These boys have grown up together...and after umpteen travels and adventures, the oldest two are now roommates in college.


But utterly, utterly cool.


The middle guys are all sports and few words and the youngest two are all words.  All the time.

Love that.  Most of the time.

They finally conquered bowling.  With bumpers, of course.
It cost a million dollars, but was  It would be cheaper if we had left the hungry children (4 of whom are teens...and 2 are POOR teens, so they ate alot!) at home, but it was a blast.

Beyond a blast.


Sunday, February 8, 2009


Friday night was an away game...and I'm pretty sure Alex never even broke a sweat.


He was in foul trouble within 2 minutes and it was a nail biter of a game...and Alex was stuck on the bench.


He did play the end of the game...until he fouled out, which happens when you get triple teamed, but he was a good sport about it all.  

Saturday was a concert at Concordia called Super Music for Super Heroes and was so, so cool.  Tons and tons of young families, all with children dressed up in their super hero costumes.  So cute!  I sure am missing that kid...
Driving home was a sight we never see...and it was gorgeous!
Last night we went to a grown-up dinner at Ruths Chris with some good friends and spent 4 hours laughing and talking and eating and drinking.

And it was free...thanks to a gift card we got for Christmas.  


M had an incredibly early morning as his choir was singing at a local church, so the boys and I followed them there.  

At a later hour, that is.

Our afternoon was spent inside on this cold, drizzly day...M napped, Brian built a K'Nex thingy he got for his birthday, Alex had friends over to play xbox and I watched 2 back to back Hallmark movies.


Supper was a true find.  Way in back of the outside freezer was a container of leftover turkey in gravy...not sure when I last cooked a turkey at home, but that doesn't matter one bit.  Anyway, made up some mashed potatoes, cooked some fresh green beans and warmed some hawaiian rolls and called the troops to the table.

Impressive, eh?

I even made up some chocolate cookie dough, so I'll bake a few for dessert.  The boys don't have school tomorrow...but that guy that I like does, so the boys and I and a bunch of their friends are going to the movies.  They all want to see the new Pink Panther and I am going to see whatever chick flick is playing around the same time.  Gotta love a plan.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Long Time Away

Hey Alex...what is the book you are reading in English now?

I dunno...somethin' about a man and a mouse.  Sounds boring.

I hadn't realized that it had been almost a week since I've written...but actually, I have.  I just didn't hit publish when I was done.

Can't share everything you know.


BooBear had a basketball game on Tuesday night.  Bless his little heart...his team is just so adorable.  They just can't seem to squeak out a win...though they are getting closer.  This week the Beavers only lost by 20.  Poor things.
And this????  THIS is the REAL Housewives of Orange County.  (and we forgot to take one where I was in the picture because we were too distracted by all of Rosemary's stories!!!)

Anyway, these are my neighbors and the reason I will never leave my 1200 sq. feet.  Ever.  These are my people.

What else has been happening?

Alex had a game on Wednesday, which meant a 6 hr stint at the snack bar for me.  While it is fun (I really like the person who I am doing it with) I am not sure I will miss it all that much.  Alex will be moving up a team next year, so my dues have been paid.

I do love the time with Alex...he has changed so much just in the last month.  Taller, more funny (not sure that was possible) and more sure of himself.  It is so fun to watch these boys grow up...wish I could take credit for it, but this is all God.  All God.

Last night was Pie Night with the girls...and once again I came home with a sore face from laughing so hard.

I met a girlfriend for breakfast this morning in the rain...glorious, glorious rain.

And said goodbye to the snowman....and I do wish she hadn't talked me into the flower.  But oh well.  It is cute and my toes are so much happier with pretty pink polish.

Tonight is an away game for Alex, which we are all going to.  We'll probably grab supper out or to go because M has to be back on campus for a theater production.  

The boys and I will hang out at home in our jammies...probably battling it out on Dr Mario.

At some point I need to 'feed' my amish anti-friend bread and bake, bake, bake...which actually sounds yummy on this cold rainy day.  


Monday, February 2, 2009

A Day of Nothing

Not much.

As in, that is what I've done today.

I ran to the grocery store for an odd assortment of things...milk, kosher salt, paper towels and chili powder.  I did buy Brian's valentines and carrots, too.  Just in case you were wondering.

Came home and thought about cleaning the fact, I thought about it more than once.  I thought about it while watching Big Love.  I thought about it while adding 'stuff' to that strange bag of amish friendship bread starter....which, by the way, I passed onto a neighbor who had never done it before and thought it was 'neat'.

Just wait.


Anyway, I even thought about it while struggling...and I mean struggling, through my new bible study, the Psalms of Ascent.  It is hard and at one point I just put my head on the table out of weariness...not sure a Beth Moore study has ever made me weary before.  But this one is and tomorrow I will go with my study guide only partially done.

I visited with not one, but two different neighbors today and then made a pot of so-so tasting chili for supper.  The boys really liked it but I think it was too much after super bowl sunday food, if you know what I mean.

Bored yet?

I kinda am.


Tonight is The Bachelor, which will be happily TiVo'ing while that guy that I like so much is working and will be all ready for his viewing pleasure when he walks in the door.

Poor guy. I sure did marry well!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Sunday

The guacamole is made.  The 7-layer dip is made.  Nacho's are ready to go.

Just waiting for the game to start.

I don't actually watch the game...but I do like the commercials and the stories about all the players, so I guess I do sort of watch the game.

I am reading a really good 'trashy' novel, so that'll be keeping me busy.  I also have old bread cubed and in a pan waiting to become bread pudding.  My garden needs to be watered, too...but other than all of that there is nothing going on.

But don't tell the people who invited us over for parties today.


Today is a beautiful sunny day and we are

We did go to church, of course, and to In n, so, SO yummy, though for the 1st time EVER (and I am not kidding!) they got our order wrong.  For reals.

Alex is at a friends house for a super bowl party...a friend who I never met before.  I know lots of the kids who are there with him, but I still needed to do the 'call the mother' thing.

And he was appalled.

Oh well.  Someday he too shall become a parent of a free spirit child and I will smile as I rock in my chair.


The mother, btw, was really grateful that I called her to ask about the party.  

So Alex is safe and sound at a super bowl party, Brian is on a bike ride to Sticky Fingers with a few of the neighborhood kids and one very, very nice dad and Matthew just walked in the door to watch the game.

I like that.

So if the snacks leave them hungry later, we'll order pizza and call it a day.  

Can't beat that.

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